Throughout 2011 and into the first quarter of 2012 the Jacksonville Florida real estate market has showed signs of rebounding. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders has named the Jacksonville area on its list of improving housing markets. This upward trend in the market can be attributed to employment growth, home pricing appreciation, and single family housing permit growth.
Jacksonville’s reputation of having the highest average annual incomes in the state of Florida has greatly helped the region bear the force of the economic downturn. Due to its strong employment base, Jacksonville has actually come back faster than many of the larger, service dependent areas to its south. Although the region is home to a large military presence that drives the economy, growth in the financial sector has risen drastically in the past years. Jacksonville is expected to see a 3.2 percent increase in employment over the next year. Also, the median home income of $61,800 is projected to rise 3.3 percent in 2012.
With a median home price of $130,000 the region has seen a drastic increase from February 2010’s all-time low of $120,000. While market improvement is based on actual home sales, it does not mean an increase in home prices. Currently, the hottest price point in the Jacksonville real estate market is homes priced in the low $100-$200k range. Due to job growth and decrease of foreclosures, home prices have begun to stabilize and are expected to rise 5 percent through the next year.
Construction and securing building permits is also on the rise. Builders and developers pulled an astounding 28 percent more building permits in the first half of 2011 than the prior year. Building growth is expected to rapidly increase in 2012 and we may see permit activity double. The single family housing sector can expect an increase with roughly 70 percent of permit activity being attributed to it. An increase in sales of preconstruction homes in Florida, especially the Jacksonville area is also expected.
Jacksonville really is a buyers and sellers’ market at the moment that is expected to expand throughout 2012 through employment growth, home pricing appreciation, and single family housing permit growth.